Illegal sand dredging cause of landslides along Dong Nai River

Ngo Xuan Hien, chairman of the People’s Committee of Cat Tien District, on March 24 attributed unchecked and illegal sand dredging to the frequent landslides along the banks of the Dong Nai River passing through Phuoc Son Village in Cat Tien District in the highland province of Lam Dong.

Despite of the government’s ban, barges still dredge sand in Dong Nai River, causing critical landslips ( Photo : SGGP)

Hien said that related agencies are investigating the cause of frequent landslides along the banks of the Dong Nai River, but with over 10 companies involved in sand dredging in the area, the possibility of it being sole cause of recurring landslides is very high.

Hien said that after the recent landslide on March 21, which washed away a 400 metre stretch of land, along with fields of cashew and fruit trees, Cat Tien District authorities will petition the government to revoke licenses of companies involved in sand dredging.

The severe landslide on March 21 washed away three houses into the river, and authorities have relocated the residents to temporary tents far from the danger zone.

Over the last few years, land erosion has washed away hundreds of hectares of land in Ho Chi Minh City region. Agricultural fields, residential quarters and several roads have disappeared or destroyed, putting at risk thousands of people living in landslide prone areas.

However, with a high demand for sand in the city and southeastern provinces, illegal sand dredging continues to take place quite openly along some sections of the Dong Nai River.

By N. Vien - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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